Socialist Worker

LETTERS: Hillsborough families show why we should never give up

Issue No. 2502

South Yorkshire Police attacked miners at Orgreave in 1984

South Yorkshire Police attacked miners at Orgreave in 1984 (Pic: John Sturrock)

I feel really sad for the families of the 96 killed at Hillsborough, having to go through 27 years of smears and lies. But they continued to fight and the top cop finally admitted he lied.

He could have said that 27 years ago, or ten years ago, and saved those families all that suffering.

And then there’s the millions of pounds of our money that’s gone into the inquiries.

David Duckenfield was responsible for killing 96 people and he’s got to live with that for the rest of his life. I hope he rots in hell.

When I was growing up my mother used to tell me that the police were there to protect us. But later I found out they really protect the state and the rich.

If someone tried to break into my house tomorrow and someone tried to break into Buckingham Palace their response would be different, wouldn’t it?

“Thatcher’s boot boys,” we used to call South Yorkshire Police during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike.

The people who got done for Hillsborough were those same bastards who were bashing our heads when we went to shut down the coking plant at Orgreave during the strike.

You don’t go to watch football and expect to get killed.

At Orgreave there were 88 miners arrested, beaten and battered. I witnessed the police’s brutality and their contempt for working class people first hand.

I was in Orgreave with many of my fellow strikers. We didn’t go to riot yet the police launched a vicious assault on us—they led us to the slaughter.

Eventually the truth will come out.

It’s not just about Orgreave. It’s about the actions of the cops and the state throughout the strike.

There were 11,000 miners arrested during the strike. Whole mining villages were put under state occupation.

But the Hillsborough families show us why we should never give up fighting for justice.

Norman Strike, Essex

The strength and financial cost the battle for justice must have taken on the Hillsborough families is immense. I respect their spirit fighting for the truth 100 percent. Justice must follow.

Tina Martin, on Facebook

Sheku Bayoh’s family still needs answers

On 3 May it is the anniversary of the killing of Sheku Bayoh, a young black man from Kirkcaldy in Fife.

Sheku was walking home in broad daylight when police arrived. Within minutes he had died from asphyxiation, with at least two police with a combined weight of over 40 stone on top of him.

There were injuries all over his body, and chemical spray, hand and ankle cuffs were used. The nine police involved were put in a room together at the police station. For over 30 days they refused to answer questions.

One was exposed by his own family as a violent man and a racist. The STUC has reaffirmed support for the Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign. Let’s hope Hillsborough opens the door to all families who demand the truth.

Lici Kopiej, Kirkcaldy

Junior doctors can win

Last week I joined a group of junior doctors on a “save our NHS” open-top bus tour through London during their strike.

We chanted, leafleted, and made speeches on the megaphone and gained a lot of attention. The reaction from people was overwhelmingly positive.

We then went to Westminster to join the huge march against Tory Jeremy Hunt’s dangerous new contract.

It was a pleasure to be part of something that showed the doctors just how much support they have.

As a nurse, I stand in complete solidarity with the doctors.

I believe this contract was created in order to break down the NHS, so the Tories can fully privatise our health care system. And if they defeat the junior doctors, then they’ll come for the rest of us.

That’s why we need to see other health workers’ unions ballot their members and join the struggle against Hunt’s plan to attack us all.

It really is everybody’s fight. We have to all stand together to save our NHS.

You can see that junior doctors are rapidly becoming more knowledgeable, courageous and strong, and that so much support is out there for them.

If we continue to stand together, we can win this fight.

Annie Jones, South London

It’s right to work with others for Lexit

last month another 400 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Italy.

It was a direct consequence of the European Union’s (EU) determination to keep people fleeing war and persecution out of Europe.

So it’s more than a little strange that Jim Nichol (Letters, 27 April) should criticise a Lexit leaflet that supports refugees and which is trying to build an anti-racist, internationalist campaign for leaving the EU.

As Jim knows, any broad based campaign is a compromise. The Socialist Workers Party is one of the very few organisations in Britain that opposes all immigration controls.

Socialist Worker should continue to campaign for open borders and against the scapegoating of Muslims.

It should also work with others on the left to campaign for a vote for leaving the EU based on opposition to austerity and racism.

Bob Fotheringham, Glasgow

For more details about the Lexit campaign see

Tax scam Cam is repugnant

Susan Bruce (Letters, 20 April) suggests that Cameron hasn’t done anything wrong by benefiting from offshore holdings.

But wholesale evasion of tax while our public services are being starved of cash is morally repugnant.

If the law allows it then the law is wrong too. Whether he has actually done anything illegal is not the point.

Dave Ramsden, Bradford

Where’s BHS money gone?

The £571 million “black hole” in British Home Stores’ pension fund is one reason for its bankruptcy. Where has this money gone?

Speculation and shadow banking siphon cash from the real economy to private equity and the rich.

So, one could look to the likes of Retail Acquisitions, who bought BHS for £1 last year and immediately milked it for several million. Is this a racket, or what?

Dermot Smyth, Chesterfield

Hunt told the truth for once

Jeremy Hunt has been saying this might be his last “big job” in politics. Possibly the most truthful he’s been in a while.

Su Budge, on Facebook

Press is beyond parody now

It is beyond parody that the same media which has spent decades spreading racist poison against migrants and refugees now accuses the Labour Party of a “problem” with antisemitism.

Sasha Simic, East London

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